Flimsy excuses from Government on return of Irish soldiers not good enough

04 April 2019

Labour Party Leader, Brendan Howlin TD, has said that the Minister for Defence must take responsibility when it comes to the safe return of Irish soldiers after a six month tour in the Golan Heights.

Deputy Howlin said:

“For the second time in six months, Irish soldiers have been let down by this Government. After a six month tour of duty on a UN mission to the Golan Heights, 130 soldiers were due home today, but once again the Government has failed to secure all of the necessary clearances so that they could travel.

Responding to my questions in the Dáil today the Minister tried to wash his hands clean of any responsibility. The Government need to stop shifting the blame onto other agencies and make sure these soldiers get home as soon as humanly possible.

“This is not the first time the Government have failed our soldiers when it comes to travel arrangements. This happened last October, and it was a disgrace, for it to happen again now is beyond disgraceful.

“Families naturally want to be re-united after a long six months. Children are waiting to see their parents. Family members have booked their annual holidays to spend time with our returning soldiers and in some cases, families have travelled to Dublin to meet their loved ones, only to be told – for the second time in six months – that the Government has failed to prepare the necessary paperwork to bring our soldiers home.

“The weak explanations from Government are not good enough, our soldiers and their families deserve better.”

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